By Chris Rising
As virtual reality becomes more mainstream, its reach will surely extend beyond media and entertainment. At Rising, we believe this technological advancement can and will have positives effects on commercial real estate, particularly when it comes to leasing and team building. It’s important to us to always look ahead, and here are the ways we see VR changing the way we see office space.
Virtual conference rooms
The ability to hold meetings in virtual conference rooms will boost team collaborations and productivity. By reducing the need to travel to a physical location, co-workers can meet more often and more conveniently no matter where they are in the world. This will increase more creative collisions and facilitate more teamwork.
A bigger talent pool
When it comes to recruiting the best talent, companies are no longer confined to a geographical location. Virtual reality broadens the talent pool so a potential candidate doesn’t have to live within striking distance to a physical office to be considered. In cities like Los Angeles where proximity to the office and commute times are major factors in hiring new employees, virtual reality will make more jobs accessible to more people.
The development of VR 360 renderings allows CEOs and their companies to experience a new office space even before it’s built. CEOs no longer need to visit several sites in search of the right space before deciding where to move the company, as they have done in the past. VR 360 technology makes company tours a viable option, allowing 10-20 people at a time to weigh in. Whoever wants to join simply puts on a headset and is able to experience a virtual tour of the new space.
We've already seen the traditional office space make a drastic change from corner office and cubicles to open layouts, reflecting a lifestyle. I think VR is going to make this shift yet again because fewer businesses will actually be working on traditional computer setups and instead dictating to the headsets instead. This will take away the need for individual desk stations with monitors and perhaps increase the amount of couches, comfortable seating options, etc.
Easier company expansion
Virtual reality will make signing a lease for new office space in a different city a whole lot easier. Currently, if a company based on New York is interested in finding office space in LA, they will send a representative to experience the space in person. But with virtual reality, decision-makers can explore multiple spaces without leaving their current setup in New York, saving the company time and money.
All prejudice aside, I believe the need for office space will never truly go away. It will absolutely look different but a headquarters is key for building your company's community and culture - which is what every modern-day worker prioritizes.